Scratching the Head of Chairman Mao

Scratching the Head of Chairman Mao

by Jonathan Tel

Published by: Turtle Point Press

220 pages, 5.50 x 8.00 in

  • Paperback
  • ISBN: 9781885983725
  • Published: January 2020


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"A tour de force of deep knowledge, uncanny powers of observation, and brilliant tragicomic invention." —James Lasdun
“A remarkable and very moving feat of storytelling.” —Andrew Holgate
A Foreword Reviews Editor's pick!

Money makes Beijing go round in Jonathan Tel's seductive, puzzle-like novel-in-stories.

China is the center of the world, and the center of China is Beijing, and at the center of Beijing is a billionaire financier named Qin. At the opening of this novel-in-stories, billionaire Qin is lying in state at his funeral, victim of a sudden and premature death. Moving back and forth in time, we meet a wide range of Chinese, all linked to Qin by a degree or two of separation: a property developer, a street artist, a prostitute, a fashion model, a spy, a thief, an expat lawyer, a muckraking journalist. By the end of this biting, post-post-modern cultural observation, the manner of Qin’s death is revealed. Scratching the Head of Chairman Mao presents today’s China in its full and fabulous complexity.